COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Last update: November 21, 2022

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Visit our COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard for up-to-date information on COVID-19 vaccinations in Ottawa.

Vaccine information

Which vaccines are approved in Canada? 

 

 

 

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Age range Type 

Doses*

Recommended Interval

(time between doses)*

Potential allergen **

Pfizer BioNTech - Comirnaty

5 years and older mRNA 2 8 weeks polyethylene glycol (PEG)

Moderna - Spikevax

6 months and older  mRNA 8 weeks

polyethylene glycol (PEG)

 

tromethamine
(trometamol or Tris)

Novavax - Nuvaxovid

18 years and older Protein subunit 2 8 weeks

Polysorbate-80

 

Medicago - Covifenz

18 to 64 years of age

Plant-based virus-like partricle

2 8 weeks Polysorbate-80
Johnson & Johnson - Janssen 18 years and older Viral-vector 1 Not applicable  Polysorbate-80

AstraZeneca - Vaxzevria / COVISHIELD

40 years and older Viral-vector  2 At least 8 weeks Polysorbate-80

* Many COVID-19 vaccines require two doses. The time between doses varies depending on the vaccine you receive and can also depend on provincial and NACI guidance. 

** See specific vaccine details for additional non-medicinal ingredients 

 

 

 

 

Please also see the Government of Canada’s list of approved vaccines authorized for use in Canada.

Who can receive first, second or third doses of the vaccine?

Who can receive a COVID-19 vaccine?

• Everyone six months or older at the time of their appointment is currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

• Children aged 6 months to 4 years getting the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric COVID-19 vaccine, require 3 doses to complete a primary series.

• All residents are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as they can, and to receive further doses as soon as they are eligible to ensure maximum protection against    COVID-19.

How can individuals access the Novavax (Nuvaxovid) COVID-19 vaccine?

You cannot book through the provincial portal. Booking will be through your local public health unit. Use this online form to register for a Novavax COVID-19 vaccine.

Visit our frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccination web page to learn more about the Novavax (Nuvaxovid) COVID-19 vaccine.

Who can receive a three dose primary series?

A ‘three-dose’ primary series refers to a series of three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to make up a primary series offered to those who are immunocompromised or vulnerable. A third dose is added to the standard two-dose “primary vaccine series” to improve the immune response and establish an adequate level of protection for those who did not develop immunity or did not develop an optimal immune response after a 2-dose primary series.
Some individuals who are immunocompromised can get a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine eight weeks after their second dose as part of an extended primary series. Note that in some cases the interval may be shortened as advised by your health care provider or specialist.
Please see COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance (gov.on.ca) for more information on eligibility for a three-dose primary series.
The third dose of vaccine will be given at least two months (eight weeks) after the second dose.
Ottawa residents who meet these criteria must present one of the following to receive their third dose:

  • A letter from their specialist or hospital program; or
  • Current prescription package, label or pharmacy receipt of an immunosuppressant medication listed by the Ontario government. The prescription must clearly label: patient name, name of medication, date of dispensing, and name of prescribing doctor.
Who can receive a booster?

Vaccination and practising public health measures like masking, avoiding gatherings, and staying homewhen sick, remain our strongest defense against COVID-19.

OPH recommends booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine for those who are eligible. Use the provincial Booster Dose Eligibility Tool to find out if you are eligible.

Booster eligibility:

  • Booster doses of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine are recommended in Ontario for anyone aged 5 years and older if at least 168 days (approximately six months) have passed since their previous dose or COVID-19 infection.
    • Individuals must be at least five years old on the day they receive the vaccine.
    • Children aged 5 to 11 years are only eligible for one booster dose following the primary series, at this time. They will receive the Pediatric Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
  • As of October 17, 2022, all Ontarians aged 12 years and older are eligible for a bivalent COVID-19 booster dose.
  • Individuals can receive the bivalent booster at the recommended interval of at least six months from their previous dose, regardless of how many boosters they have already received.
  • Individuals may choose to receive a booster dose as early as three months (84 days) after their previous dose with informed consent.
  • As per the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, longer intervals between doses has shown to result in better immune response and somewhat better vaccine effectiveness than shorter intervals. Consult your health care provider for individual recommendations and to assess personal risks and benefits of receiving vaccination earlier.
  • Residents are encouraged to make an appointment or drop-in to one of the community clinics.
  • Eligible individuals can book an appointment through the COVID-19 vaccination portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900.
  • Appointments can also be made with local pharmacies. Some primary care physicians are also providing booster doses.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends that all individuals 65 years of age and older and individuals 12 years of age and older who are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 should be offered a fall COVID-19 vaccine booster dose, regardless of the number of booster doses previously received. All other individuals 12 to 64 years of age may be offered a fall COVID-19 vaccine booster dose, regardless of the number of booster doses previously received.

Ottawa Public Health strongly recommends that the following vulnerable groups book a bivalent COVID-19 booster appointment as soon as possible (at the shortened interval of three months) to protect themselves this fall as more people spend time indoors: 

  • individuals aged 65 and over; 
  • residents of long-term care homes, retirement homes, Elder Care Lodges and individuals living in other congregate settings that provide assisted-living and health services; 
  • First Nation, Inuit and Métis individuals and their non-Indigenous household members aged 18 and over; 
  • Individuals 12 years of age and older with an underlying medical condition that places them at high risk of severe COVID-19 including moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals; 
  • pregnant individuals aged 18 and over; and 
  • health care workers aged 18 and over.
  • For more information see: 

Ontario Government: All Ontarians Aged 12+ Eligible for Bivalent Booster

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization: An Advisory Committee Statement (ACS) National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) Updated guidance on COVID-19 vaccine booster doses in Canada

Public Health Agency of Canada: SUMMARY OF NATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEEON IMMUNIZATION (NACI) STATEMENT OF OCTOBER 7, 2022 Updated guidance on COVID-19 vaccine booster doses in Canada

 

Please also see this link to Provincial guidance for third doses (PDF).

Does my patient, who was vaccinated outside of Ontario, need another vaccine dose? 

On September 14, 2021, the Ontario Ministry of Health released an update to the provincial definition of fully vaccinated (PDF) along with guidance for individuals vaccinated outside of Ontario (PDF). Depending on the type of vaccine your patient was previously immunized with outside Ontario, patients may need one dose of an mRNA vaccine to allow them to meet Ontario’s fully vaccinated definition (PDF). The most common non-Health Canada approved vaccines reported to Ottawa Public Health are Sinovac, Sinopharm, Sputnik V and Abdala.

If your patient requires another dose of vaccine to meet the fully vaccinated definition, and you are not immunizing in your clinic, please refer them to an OPH immunization clinic.

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Supporting your patients to get vaccinated 

For more information on vaccine clinics in Ottawa, visit our public COVID-19 Vaccine webpage

Resources for patient counselling for the COVID-19 vaccines are available from the Centre of Effective Practice.

Additionally, The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has developed a resource titled the COVID-19 Vaccination Tool Kit for Health Care Providers. This resource may help your patients and colleagues make informed decisions about COVID-19 vaccination.

Finally, the 19 to Zero COVID-19 vaccination campaign has created a number of resources for healthcare professionals to use to address vaccine confidence.

Even if your patient decides not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, please continue to recommend they stay up to date with other vaccinations, including vaccination against influenza.

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Medical Exemptions from Vaccination

The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has provided guidance to assist health care providers to determine if their patient has a contraindication to COVID-19 vaccination that qualifies for a medical exemption. See Table 1 in the linked Ministry of Health guidance document (PDF).

As per provincial guidance, in many instances, safe administration of subsequent doses of COVID-19 vaccine is possible under the management of an appropriate physician or nurse practitioner. True medical exemptions are expected to be infrequent and should be supported by expert consultation.

For further details - Statement of Medical Exemption – COVID-19 Vaccine

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Contraindications to Vaccination

Do not administer vaccine to patients without a consultation by an allergist if the patient has a history of severe immediate allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) to a prior administration of COVID-19 vaccine or any of the vaccine ingredients.

For immediate allergic reactions occurring within 4 hours following the first dose of immunization, including urticaria, angioedema, or anaphylaxis, patients will not be eligible to receive their second dose without evaluation by an Allergist (PDF). Allergic reactions to COVID-19 immunizations remain rare and treatable; e-consult for Allergists may reduce delays in completing COVID-19 immunization.

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Report an Adverse Event Following Immunization

Under the Health Protection and Promotion Act of Ontario, all healthcare providers are required to report AEFIs to local public health units. If you see a patient with symptoms that could possibly be related to a recent immunization, you as the healthcare provider are required to report the AEFI (PDF). Submitting a report doesn’t mean that the vaccine caused the event, but this is a critical component of monitoring the safety of all vaccines.

In addition to AEFIs, health care providers are asked to report Adverse Events of Special Interests (PDF) for COVID-19 vaccine safety surveillance. AEFIs and AESIs are reportable to the health unit of the patient’s residence.

Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the AEFI form (PDF), which describes the AEFIs which must be reported, and Public Health Ontario’s AEFI fact sheet (PDF), which on page 2 indicates the temporal criteria for reporting based on symptom onset that can be between 24 hours to 8 weeks after vaccine administration. If you are unsure, please be proactive and report.

All AEFI reporting forms (PDF) are submitted by fax to OPH at 613-580-9660 or through our online form.

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Proof of Vaccination for Small Health Care Settings

The Ontario government has provided a guidance document (PDF) for physicians and nurse practitioners working in a community setting, including screening, staff concerns and infection prevention and control scenarios. Proof of vaccination signage has also been provided by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for use in health care settings.

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Become a Vaccine Provider

Primary care providers in Ottawa are invited to administer COVID-19 vaccines in their offices. Please contact COVID Vaccine Partners at covidvaccinepartners@ottawa.ca for more information. To order Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, complete the Ottawa Public Health COVID-19 vaccine order form.

There are opportunities for health care providers to provide services in mass immunization clinics or congregate setting clinics operated by Ottawa Public Health. Physician immunizers must have an independent practice license in Ontario, CMPA liability protection and an OHIP billing number (for compensation through sessional fee codes). If you have not yet participated at an OPH clinic, please email covidimmunizers@ottawa.ca with your name, email, phone number, CPSO license number and proof of CMPA to register as a physician immunizer.

Physician Billing

The Ontario Medical Association has outlined information pertaining to billing for COVID-19 vaccination (PDF). Furthermore, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care publishes OHIP bulletins to update on billing concerns, which include COVID-19. Physicians should also check the OMA portal for updates. Questions regarding submission of billing codes should be directed to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term. Care’s Service Support Contact Centre at SSContactCentre.MOH@ontario.ca.

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Resources for Healthcare providers

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